The world's first hybrid aeroboat, which has been built by an Indo-Russian joint venture, was unveiled on 6 June 2017 at a start-ups event organised by Russia’s state-run Skolkovo Foundation in Moscow.
The hybrid boat is capable of travelling on land, water, snow and sand. It has been designed specially to access difficult terrain like marshy or flooded areas where the use of regular boats is impossible due to shallow water, patches of dry land or presence of marine vegetation.
Designed by IIAAT Holding, a joint venture between the International Institute for Advanced Aerospace Technologies and Indian firm Millennium Aerodynamics, the Aeroboat is on demonstration in and around a pond in the two-day start-up annual event.
The event would witness participation from leading technology entrepreneurs and investors.
Salient features of Aeroboat
• The boat runs on a ‘hybrid’ engine so, it is capable of running on both petrol and electricity, enabling users to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.
• The Aeroboat is also equipped with IoT (Internet of Things) technology that will allow the makers to monitor, control and diagnose the equipment as well as troubleshoot select faults.
• The 6.5-metre-long hybrid design is capable of seating 10 passengers and one crew member.
• It is capable of handling steep slopes and embankments and does not require any marine infrastructure such as jetties since it is amphibious.
• In comparison with hovercrafts, which too are capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces, aeroboats are faster and more robust.
• While hovercrafts move at a speed of around 45-50 km per hour on water, aeroboats are capable of going at around 150 km or more.
• Aeroboats would also be cheaper to maintain and fuel with an estimated maintenance cost of around $400-$600 per year.
• While Hovercrafts work on static air-cushion, aeroboats work on dynamic air-cushion that gives it a huge advantage of speed and manoeuvrability.
Speaking on the development, IIAAT Holding board member Sukrit Sharan, revealed that they have received orders for more than 25 aeroboat units from private and government buyers in India, among which they have already despatched five for use in disaster management. He added that the product is capable of saving hundreds of lives in India during the monsoon season when the regions experience floods.